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Govt to lower Covid vaccination age to 18 years

UNB
23 Jul 2021 21:08:26 | Update: 23 Jul 2021 21:08:26
Govt to lower Covid vaccination age to 18 years
A nurse injects Moderna vaccine dose to a man at Mugda Nagar Matrisadan Hospital in Dhaka on July 13, 2021. — Focus Bangla Photo

The government is going to lower the minimum age limit for Covid vaccination to 18 from 30 years as per a directive of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a bid to bring more people under the coverage of the mass vaccination programme.

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given an instruction in this regard this (Friday) morning. We’ll implement it at the earliest possible time after discussions with the Health Minister,” said Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

He made the remarks while talking to reporters after visiting Covid-dedicated Mugda General Hospital in the capital on Friday.

The DGHS DG said the government is also thinking of expanding the vaccination programme to the village level. “The government is planning whether the corona vaccines can be given to rural people in the same way they receive other vaccines.”

“If this decision is implemented, then people will be able to get the vaccine doses by showing the national identity cards and the vaccination cards, and then there’ll be no need for registration,” he added.

On July 18, the government decided to lower the age limit to 30 years from 35 for Covid vaccination.

Over four per cent of the country's population has so far been vaccinated since the government launched the mass vaccination programme on February 7 last by administering Covishield.

On April 25, the government had to suspend the first dose of the vaccine campaign due to a shortage of jabs. However, the vaccination drive resumed this month with the arrival of Sinopharm, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

Replying to a question, Prof Khurshid said the government has preparations to deal with the pressure of the growing number of Covid patients.

He said field hospitals can be set up in different districts to ensure the treatment of virus-infected people.

The DG said the outcome of the 14-day strict lockdown enforced by the government today (Friday) will be visible a few days later.

He, however, said the virus infections have comparatively decreased now in the frontier areas.

Prof Khurshid said they are taking steps for exporting oxygen from India as the country’s current oxygen demand is 200 tonnes per day.